‘Last practice looked like the final’

‘Last practice looked like the final’
Kika van Es

NOS Soccer

PSV’s women wanted to compete at the top of the premier league this season, but nothing came of it with fourth place. Tomorrow, in the cup final against FC Twente (to be broadcast live by NOS), the team from Eindhoven has the chance to give the season some cachet.

“At PSV you play for the prizes,” coach Rick de Rooij said at a press event before the final. “We expected to be closer to the competition in the premier league. That we can now still fight for a prize in a direct duel is very nice.”

According to Kika van Es, PSV’s captain, the group has lived towards it tremendously. “Passion is perhaps the most important thing in a cup final. It’s only about one thing and that is that you win tomorrow.”

Crown on Twente season

For FC Twente, missing out on the national championship was a big disappointment, Ajax hoisted the scale. In the final of the KNVB Cup, the Tukkers say they can still “crown a fantastic season.”

Twente coach Joran Pot ahead of cup final: “We very much want to play for prizes and every prize we can grab is important. Becoming champion didn’t work out and now we will fight for the cup.”

FC Twente, which became national champions three times in a row, battled long Ajax. In late April, when Twente was still on top, they lost an important battle, visiting Ajax. The Amsterdammers took over the lead in the rankings and became champions two weeks ago.

Beware of underestimation

Twente has an almost fit selection with top scorers Fenna Kalma and Renate Jansen in the ranks, and the club is favored in the cup final.

“We must not underestimate PSV,” Pot said coolly. The numbers are in Twente’s favor. The team won both encounters with PSV in the premier league relatively easily. In October, PSV was beaten 3-1 at home. On a visit to Eindhoven, it was 0-3 at the end of January.

Joran Pot

Twente coach Pot: “PSV had a difficult first half of the season and during the season they grew. The second game we played against them was more equal than the first game. We won in the end because we were more effective.”

Training as a final

So a sophisticated battle plan on the PSV side is of great importance. And there is, assures coach Rick de Rooij. “But we also continue to rely on our own strength. The players are motivated to the bone. At training it seemed like they were already playing the final.”

“We have put up a very nice series except for the last game. We have to continue that series now,” Van Es said.

PSV lost in the Eredivisie Cup – a final tournament played by the top four in the league – to Ajax (5-2). FC Twente did win, from Fortuna (5-0), and has a good starting position for the return. “That counts after tomorrow. First the cup final,” coach Pot said.

Kayleigh Williams